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California State Games: 2023 Uncommitted


Jack Shannon
San Diego Area Scout

Lathrop, CA - The California State Games provided an abundance of uncommitted talent across the board. The class of 2023 held their own against the upperclass players, showing off their tools and baseball knowledge throughout the weekend. TrackMan and Blast Motion data provided another avenue for projection on the young crop of 2023 players, further giving a glimpse of what is to come. Here we take a look at ten 2023 uncommitted players that are worth a second look.

The scouting staff crushed the twitter game and provided ample highlights on day oneday two and day three. You can find all the in depth scouting report analysis of the State Games participants here: Red 1Red 2Blue 1Blue 2Grey 1Grey 2 . 

the players

Bryce Cruz, Jesuit (CA), 2023 
Positional ProfileSS/RHP, Athletic with arm strength, metrics say his future is on the mound. 
Body: 5-10, 150-pounds. 
Defense: Solid overall, first step actions stood out, showed well in competitive simulation with backhand play and strong throw to first, can stay at SS. 
Arm: RH.  INF - 82 mph.  Arm is above-average for class, 82 mph across the diamond and 85 mph off the mound, arm to watch. 
Hit: RHH. Tall open stance, hands high and elbow back, bat to ball approach, lacking elite metrics, bat speed of 65.2 mph is average. TrackMan line drive averages; 79.6 mph - 16.5 launch angle - 186.8 ft. 
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run: 7.48 runner in the 60. 

DeliveryRelatively clean overall, good balance, lower half drive, clean follow through. 
Arm Action: RH. Arm action stays close to the body, longer arm swing to high 3/4 arm slot, quality extension in front.
FB: T85, 82-84 mph. 82% of pitches thrown, induced vertical break 17.8 (extreme ride) and horizontal break 4.1 (21st percentile) show extreme ride and low run. Ride on his fastball garnered some swing and misses and pop-outs in the competitive simulation portion. 
SL: 69-71 mph. 10% of pitches thrown, induced vertical break -6.9 (7th percentile) and horizontal break -10.8 (50th percentile) show sink and cut. Developing well as an out pitch from his 8:00 tilt. 
CH: 74-75 mph. Released from the same slot as fastball, sinks and fades with parachute like action, should be utilized more. 

Nate Franco, Oaks Christian (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: C/SS 
Body: 5-11, 160-pounds. 
Defense: 2.00-2.11 pop times. Posted some of the best pop times for 2023 catchers. Athletic catcher, moves well laterally, can tell his infield skills are translating behind the plate. 
Arm: RH. C - 73 mph. Arm showed some potential with consistent throws at 73 mph, short arm swing and speed in his follow through help enable a quick release. 
Hit: SH. Switch-hitter, similar setup on both sides of the plate; wide base, shoulder height hands, leg lift to stride, one-hand finish. Fairly even spray chart distribution from the switch-hitting catcher.  Blast Motion averages do not differentiate left and right handed hitting, overall below-average readings. Fairly even spray chart distribution from the switch-hitting catcher. TrackMan line drive averages on seven swings; 82 mph exit velocity - 22.1° launch angle - 195 ft. 
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run7.15 runner in the 60. 

Tino Valdez, Loyola (CA), 2023 

Positional Profile: SS/RHP 
Body: 6-2, 168-pounds. Medium frame with a longer athletic build. 
Hit: RHH. Slightly open and upright at stance. Uses a smaller leg raise and drops hands into a launch position. Longer swing with a flatter bat path. Middle of the field approach. 
Power: 82 mph exit velocity from the tee. Line drive hitter who will fill the gaps.
Arm: RH. INF - 78 mph.  Longer arm action. Sets up feet well to make strong accurate throws. Throws flashed good life. 
Defense: Quick first steps and good reads. Soft hands with smooth glove exchanges. Stays low to the ground. 
Run: 7.69 runner in the 60. 

PITCHING
Delivery: Clean and repeatable mechanics. High leg lift that comes into the rear hip. Easy ride forward. Good hip/shoulder separation. Finishes soft at landing and online with home. 
Arm Action: RH. Longer arm action out of the ¾ slot. Slight scalp load and hides ball well behind him. Slots his pitches well for deception. 
FB: T83, 81-83 mph. 2300-2400 spin with equal horizontal and vertical break. 
SL: 70-72 mph. Located well down in the zone with 2400-2500 spin.

Jake Fuentes, Orange Lutheran (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: 3B/P 
Body: 6-2, 185-pounds. Tall and lean build with a medium frame
Hit: RHH. Sets up with an upright upper body with slight bend at knees. Slow gather with a simple stride. Quick compact stroke with a flat-uphill path. Middle of the field approach. 
Power: 86 mph exit velocity from the tee. Will fill the gaps once in a while. Power is still developing
Arm: RH. INF - 74 mph. Short circular arm action. Took time out of the glove. Throws flashed some carry and were on target, 
Defense: Fields everything out in front. Good lateral movement especially to the glove side. Overall clean footwork. 
Run: 7.71 runner in the 60. 

PITCHING
Delivery: High knee lift. Syncs his drop in his back leg with his glove separation. Finishes falling off to the first base side of the mound. 
Arm Action: RH. Circular and compact arm circle and comes out of the ¾ slot. Hides the ball well behind his body for deception. Repeatable and consistent arm slots.  
FB: T77 mph. 2200-2300 spin which is high for his velo. Worked the corners and didn’t leave much middle. 
CB: 72-74 mph. Present side spin. Moves more like a slider. Good control of the pitch. Induced weak contact when thrown low in the zone. 

Parker Hellekson, Roseville (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: OF 
Body: 5-11, 165-pounds. Mature build, long limbs, present strength with room for more. 
DefenseCorner outfield projection, raw fundamentals, charges the ball well. 
Arm: RH.  OF - 80 mph. Uses mature frame to propel throws, short arm swing, stiffness throughout, finishes in front with speed. 
Hit: RHH. Power stance, slightly open, hands shoulder height. Leans back to create launch angle, majority of batting practice balls hit in the air, line drive average; 95 mph - 19.9° launch angle - 320 ft. 
Power: 91 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run: 7.62 runner in the 60.

Drew Turley, Thousand Oaks (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: 3B/RHP. High IQ pitcher, attacks hitters, name to watch down the line.
Body: 6-1, 160-pounds. 
Defense: Prep-step, athletic base, good ball reads, sound baseball actions, solid footwork around the bag, clean transfers. 
Arm: RH.  INF - 74 mph.  Arm is quick, able to make accurate throws, same arm path as seen on the mound. 
Hit: RHH. Stands upright, wide base stance, slight knee bend, leg lift trigger to initiate swing.  Shows some bat speed at 64.1 mph, able to cover the inside part of the plate but struggled with pitches away, line drive potential. 
Power: 80 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run: 7.36 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Easy feel on the mound, keeps head in line, lower body balance, drop and drive, raw projection.
Arm ActionRH. Some whippy action, long arms show projection, creates backspin.
FB: T82, 80-82 mph. Fastball sat comfortably at 82 mph with a 2176 spin rate average, showing ability to locate to all quadrants of the zone, projectable fastball. 
SL: 64-66 mph. Slider shows good tilt, lacking sharp break and spin, developmental pitch.
KN: 70-71 mph. True knuckleball, did not register spin on TrackMan, swing and miss pitch. See Turley knuckleball breakdown below.

Payton Dupree, Folsom (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: 3B/OF 
Body: 6-0, 195-pounds. 
Defense: Showed average fundamentals at 3B and in the outfield, lacking speed and lateral quickness, bat and fielding profile could suit him well at first. 
ArmRH.  INF - 77 mph.  Arm strength has improved since last showing, slightly above-average throwing velocity of 77 mph from short to first, keeps arm short, can pitch too. 
HitRHH. Sturdy power stance, keeps his weight back with noticeable lean, leg lift to stride, hands stay tight to body. Lower half rotates well, stays behind the ball, keeps his bat on plane, one-hand finish. Posted some of the most impressive Blast Motion Scores of any player at the event. 71 Plane, 70 Connection, 67 Rotation (20-80 scale). To simplify, Dupree has one of the best quality swings of any State Games player according to Blast Motion. 19.8 g rotational acceleration shows that he is able to reach his peak hand speed of 64.6 mph on average with the MLB average.
Power: 87 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run: 7.89 runner in the 60. 

Tanner Forbus, Centennial (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: OF/LHP. Classic left-handed two-way player, name to watch on both sides of the ball. 
Body: 5-10, 150-pounds. 
Defense:  Premier play in right field; plus-first step, tracked a line drive, dove to his left along the foul line, full extension grab, robbed a would be extra-base hit.
Arm: LH.  OF - 75 mph. Average arm, consistent throwing mechanics from the outfield, uses his lower body well to generate drive, chance for more down the line. 
Hit: LHH. Blast Motion data shows average metrics for his class. Metrics to watch; 60.1 mph bat speed coupled with a rotational acceleration of 13.5 g projects well for a power increase.  TrackMan line drive averages; 82.3 mph exit velocity - 20.2° launch angle - 280.2 ft. 
Power: 85 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run: 7.54 runner in the 60. 

Delivery: Noticeable delivery difference since June 2020 showing is that Forbus lands more evenly with his body and inline with home plate, where as he previously worked more across his body. 
Arm Action: LH. Significant velocity gain in two month span; fastball averaged 72-73 mph in June 2020 and averaged 76-77 mph in August 2020. 
FB: T78, 76-77 mph. 60% of pitches thrown, 1804 spin average, 10:45 Tilt, induced vertical break 14.6 (50th percentile) average run and horizontal break -11.5 (35th percentile) above-average cut. 
CB: 17% of pitches thrown, 1924 spin average, 2:30 tilt. Commanded the pitchl low and away to right-handed hitters. 
SL: 67-68 mph. 12% of pitches thrown, 1833 spin average, 12:45 tilt. Developmental pitch, broke more like a cutter, helped differentiate from curveball. 
CH: 10% of pitches thrown, 1675 spin rate average, 11:30 tilt. Looks very similar to fastball, induced vertical break almost identical to fastball. Pitch needs to be utilized more. 

MJ Sweeney, St. Augustine (CA), 2023 
Positional Profile: 1B/RHP 
Body: 6-6, 235-pounds. Large and lengthy body with a sturdy frame.
Hit: LHH. Stands tall and slightly bent at the knees. Hands are neutral behind the ear. Smaller leg lift trigger. Starts movements early. The swing plane is flat, barrel stays in the zone a long time and stays extended through finish. Good plate coverage.
Power: 90 mph exit velocity from the tee. Above average bat speed (69mph) and rotational acceleration (17 g's) for his level per Blast Motion data. Plus pull side power. Over the wall power is coming soon. 
Arm: RH.  INF - 77 mph. Shorter and whippy arm action on DPs and longer arm action on throws to third. Slower out of the glove but sets up his feet well to make mostly accurate throws. 
Defense: Takes good first steps and is instinctual. Heavier feet but good footwork. Fields everything centered. 
Run: 8.10 runner in the 60. 

Larry Ayala, Clovis North (CA), 2023 

Positional Profile: 1B 
Body: 5-11, 175-pounds. 
Defense: Showed basic fundamentals, choppy footwork, displayed ability to pick, defensive positioning needs improvement. 
Arm: LH. INF - 70 mph. Throws consistently on target, short arm path, below-average infield arm.  
Hit: LHH. Slightly open wide base hitting setup, keeps his hands low, high lift front foot drive to plant. Works upwards through the zone, reaches his peak hand speed of 67.3 mph at 23.1 g rotational acceleration (above-average), 78 blast motion rotation score the second-highest at the State Games. 
Power: 89 mph exit velocity from the tee. 
Run7.88 runner in the 60. 

 

UPCOMING EVENTS

SHOWCASE STATE DATE LOCATION
Norcal Uncommitted Senior Games CA 09/26 Islanders Field
Norcal Underclass ID Showcase CA 10/10 Islanders Field - Lathrop
SoCal Underclass I.D. Camp CA 10/10 Great Park
SoCal Upperclass I.D. Camp CA 10/10 Great Park
SoCal Underclass I.D. Camp II CA 10/11 Great Park
SoCal Upperclass I.D. Camp II CA 10/11 Great Park


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